DMK, Congress not pressing for Manmohan’s RS return: Source

Chennai: DMK and Congress leaders dubbed as ‘media creation’ the news that the alliance parties were pressing for former prime minister Manmohan Singh to be fielded from Tamilnadu to the Rajya Sabha, as elections to six RS seats from Tamilnadu are to be held on 18 July.

According to a media report, DMK was not being persuaded and that it was not possible for it to allot a seat now in view of its commitments.

The term of office of DMK’s Kanimozhi, AIADMK’s V Maitreyan, K R Arjunan, T Rathinavel, R Lakshmanan and CPI’s D Raja expires on 24 July. It is said that the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK can win three seats each. Also as per prepoll arrangement during Lok Sabha elections, one Rajya Sabha seat from DMK will go to the MDMK – most probably to Vaiko.

PTI quoted a DMK leader as saying that the party wanted to see its numbers go up in Rajya Sabha to fight for Tamilnadu’s rights. For this, the party will field its own nominees, but the decision on candidates will be taken by Stalin.

Reacting to the speculation, a Congress senior was quoted by PTI as saying that considering aspects like DMK’s line on state autonomy, the Dravidian party may wish to back a candidate from Tamilnadu and anyway his party has not pressed on Singh’s name.

Among the names doing the rounds in the DMK for the RS openings are that of Dravidian outfit’s trade union wing Labour Progressive Front leader P Shanmugam and former additional solicitor general P Wilson.

AIADMK and DMK have the requisite numbers to elect three members each in the 234-member Assembly with two vacancies. If the two parties name only three nominees each, there will be no contest. The AIADMK has 123 MLAs including the Speaker, the DMK 100, its allies the Congress seven, the IUML one and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dhinakaran is an independent.

NT Bureau